June 28, 2007

Boy's shirt pattern fix pt. 2

Well I spent a few hours working on this pattern and sewed up a sample. I decided to go ahead and do a style similar to the original. My sample is a basic shirt with a convertible collar. Once the patterns are completely worked out, endless style variations can be developed. So far I have corrected:
  • Neckline smaller
  • Reduced and reshaped front self-facing
  • Reduced seam allowances. 1/4" s.a. for the neckline, 3/8" everywhere else.
  • Drafted a new collar - a one piece collar that folds in half.
I thought it might be useful for my readers to see how I construct a simple, casual shirt. This is not a finely tailored shirt, by any means - just the basics to test the pattern. These steps are production-style but allow for use of home sewing machines. At this point, I assume the pieces have been cut and markings and notches have been transferred. BTW, I reduced the number of notches and only used two drill holes (could use chalk) for the pocket placement. Also, you'll notice I did not use any interfacing. Interfacing is often eliminated in children's clothing from budget to high-end clothing. Firmly woven fabrics may not need any stiffening. During product development test and see if you really need it.

1. Prep work - edge finish the the pocket edges and long edges of facing. Fold collar in half and stitch collar ends (called "close" in the industry). Sew shoulder seams.

2. Details. Turn and press collar. Use a pocket template and press pocket. Stitch pocket hem. Topstitch pocket to left shirt front. Edgestitch collar. I think collars look best edgestitched 1/8" from edge. Further away can look homemade - but depends on style.

3. Attach collar. This looks more complex than it is. This fabric is hard to see but there are three notches on the collar. Two match up with the shoulder seam and one for the center back neck match-up points. Sandwich the collar between the front facing and neck (notches on shirt front indicate center front neck where collar starts and and another for the fold back of facing). Clip the top collar at the shoulder seam point a little less than the seam allowance depth 1/4". Stitch the collar on using a 1/4" seam allowance, flip the seam allowance of the top collar out of the way. Notice there is no grading and clipping (my least favorite thing to do).

Tomorrow I'll show how to finish the collar, attach sleeves and give a review of the results.

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